Our Favorite Songs From ‘Nashville,’ Now 10 Years Old
Oscar-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri had an ace in the hole when she created the ABC-turned-CMT musical drama Nashville a decade ago: She’s married to T Bone Burnett, a songwriter and record producer with 13 Grammys to his name.
Unfortunately, Burnett left the show after Season 1 amid conflict with ABC executives, but his work on the show helped Nashville soundtrack albums soar on Billboard’s U.S. Country charts.
With Nashville hitting its 10th anniversary on October 10, we’re sharing our favorite tracks from the show — including ones performed by costars Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio, Chaley Rose, and real-life sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella.
“If I Didn’t Know Better” by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio
Co-written by John Paul White of The Civil Wars, this song had Scarlett (Bowen) and Gunnar (Palladio) trading accusations while giving into each other’s temptations, the lyrics closely mirroring the characters’ fraught romance.
“Undermine” by Hayden Panettiere and Charles Esten
Kacey Musgraves was one of the songwriters behind this song, an anthem for pushing past the naysayers. “They ended up loving it for the show and using a lot more than I expected,” the country star told USA Today in 2013.
“Sideshow” by Charles Esten
When Deacon (Esten) performs this song at the Bluebird Café, it’s not hard to draw parallels to his relationship with the (much more famous) Rayna. “‘Cause that curtain falls / The lights go out / The show goes on / She leaves town,” he sings. “If you know what’s good for you / You’ll just let her go / Or you’ll end up next to me in her sideshow.”
“No One Will Ever Love You” by Connie Britton and Charles Esten
Speaking of Bluebird performances, Rayna and Deacon’s chemistry leapt off the screen as they sang “No One Will Ever Love You.” (The next lyric — “like I do” — clarifies it’s a love song and not a diss track!)
“When the Right One Comes Along” by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio
All that changes “is only everything” when the right one comes along, as this Scarlett-Gunnar duet attests. “Every single broken heart will lead you to the truth,” they sing. “You think you know what you’re lookin’ for / Till what you’re lookin’ for finds you.”
“Nothing in This World Will Ever Break My Heart Again”
Despite the defiant declaration of this song’s title, you could see Juliette’s heart breaking as she performed this song at her mother’s memorial service at the Bluebird, thereby fulfilling her mother’s biggest wish.
“Wayfaring Stranger” by Chaley Rose
When Zoey (Rose) entered the picture as a love interest for Gunnar in Season 2, she brought with her an impressive cover of this song, a gospel classic about a world-weary traveler who will “soon be free from every trial” in the afterlife.
“A Life That’s Good” by Lennon and Maisy Stella
Maisy wasn’t even 10 when she and older sister Lennon first performed this song in Nashville’s second season — in perfect harmony, of course — in character as Rayna’s onscreen daughters Daphne and Maddie. The track made multiple appearances on the show, and Nashville’s cast and crew gave it a reprise in the series finale.